What do the wine industry, the Asian Institute of Design and TAMK have in common?

Angel Manuel Rafael, Agustina Calabrese, Elizabeth Colucci and Eloi Espósito sitting behind a desk.
Angel Manuel Rafael, Agustina Calabrese, Elizabeth Colucci and Eloi Espósito at OBREAL Global meeting.

In short, at least an active network, OBREAL Global, which is dedicated to promoting cross-regional South-South-North (SSN) collaboration between different partners – including the higher education institutions and vitiviniculture and oenology (Vita Global project). And potentially, a lot more too through different kinds of initiatives to support dialogue and synergies between governmental, academic and social sectors to build bridges towards reciprocal cooperation, mutual knowledge transfer, and tackling of common global challenges.

On the 7th of November, Tampere University of Applied Sciences took part in the second meeting of the European partners and members of the network, which was held in Tarragona, Spain. Following presentations from the OBREAL Global secretariat covering their new strategic plan until 2025, the partners shared their insights about the ongoing projects. As a part of this showcase session, TAMK had an opportunity to introduce the ‘Higher Education Reform Experts South Africa/HERESA’ project funded through Erasmus + Capacity building programme. The other project testimonials covered a range of other capacity building and cooperation projects from Spanish universities (University of Extremadura and University Rovira I Virgili) and the Asian Institute of Design (OBREAL Global India Chapter).

Street in a city.
The meeting of OBREAL Global was held in Tarragona, Spain.

In addition to the ongoing projects, the network meeting focused on the future and the common needs of the partners from different fields. In the future, OBREAL Global aims to promote more intensively inter-regional dialogue and exchange on key topics of common interest of their members, ranging from the internationalisation of learning, digitalisation of education, international research management and the role of universities in regional development. The participants fully agreed that there are immensely opportunities to advance these topics further e.g., by the Erasmus + calls. Undoubtedly, future collaboration will be spurred from discussions under the beautiful Spanish sky with a network promoting knowledge-transfer and built on core values such as innovation, inclusivity, diversity, sustainability.


Higher Education Reform Experts South Africa

HERESA project offers tailored training and mentoring activities for supporting the government, strategic planning and management of HEI as well as promoting University-enterprise cooperation. The project activities involve training for university leadership and the development and revision of a teaching and learning strategy. Furthermore, by providing training on competence-based learning and teaching for the 4IR and entrepreneurship education, HERESA contributes to embedding University-enterprise cooperation in teaching and learning strategies within South African higher education institutions. A project delegation visited TAMK earlier in November 2022.


OBREAL Global has transformed over the past years from an association that primarily promotes European Union and Latin America cooperation in higher education and research, to one with a broader inter-regional mandate and membership scope, committed to strengthening South-South-North cooperation within and between regions. 2020/21 has been a busy time period, whereby, in the midst of a global pandemic, OBREAL Global has consolidated ‘Chapters’ in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, India and Africa, each of which is driven by membership and has shaped its own needs and priorities.

Text and pictures: Maria Salomaa

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